Melbourne Athenaeum Library

It was the sign advertising books for sale that caught my eye.  We were putting in time, my cousin Pam and I, until the doors of the theatre opposite opened.  It was hot enough that I didn't want to wander far so we ducked inside an old building, were directed to a neo-classical lift and... Continue Reading →

An Author’s Eye View

Recently (recently enough to have to cut short my journey) I was travelling in Australia.  As is my wont I tried to read books that had some relevance to my destination.  Two such were by Nevil Shute: A Town Like Alice and the less well known The Far Country.  I'm not an expert on the... Continue Reading →


One of the positive results about moving to Edinburgh is that it's so much easier to get places.  Although still reliant on ScotRail and Network Rail to deliver their timetables, there is at least a frequent service in many directions, rather than the random train I've been used to.  So when I heard that Elisabeth... Continue Reading →

Small and Perfectly Formed

I've always felt a little out of step with general opinion thanks to my ability to take or, quite happily, leave Venice.  My sister for one is aghast at my inability to appreciate this favourite city of hers and I must confess that I have felt slightly ashamed and embarrassed from time to time.  For... Continue Reading →

Strangers at Sea

I remember the first night when we all politely offered our names and made other banal conversation.  We progressed from that through places we had lived, countries we had visited and jobs we had held to discussing tragedies and difficulties in our lives and those two no-go areas: politics and religion. Through it all we... Continue Reading →

Camera Confusion

They say that every picture tells a story.  But sometimes it's a misleading one.  On a recent cruise I had a day on the island of Corfu, an all Greek place to me literally and metaphorically.  We arrived early in the morning as the sun was rising and anchored off Corfu town.  From my balcony... Continue Reading →


The flyer had a picture of the sea on it, all I really needed to be tempted. The programme for the Fringe, the festival running alongside the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Festival, is daunting in its thickness.  I no longer even pretend I'm going to read it.  But I do like to see... Continue Reading →

No Such Thing as Co-incidence

In the Australian spring of 1965, two very different people arrived in Melbourne. Rosemary Steele from Musselburgh was bored with her life, full though it was, and this led her to apply for an assisted passage to Australia. She was successful and made the decision to emigrate, agreeing to remain in Australia for at least... Continue Reading →

Back to My Beginning

This photograph of me was taken on the steps of the first house I ever lived in, a quarter villa in the east of Edinburgh.  It's the first house my parents owned and the home to which both my younger sister and I were taken after our respective births.  We moved away the summer before... Continue Reading →

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